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Student FAQ

Before taking the course:

  1. What is a Distance Education course?
  2. Do I have to be formally admitted prior to taking an online course and what are the admission requirements for IU South Bend? Do I need to take a placement exam before taking an online course? Do online courses count toward my credits for financial aid eligibility? How do I register or withdraw from a course?
  3. Do I have to login/participate at specific times on specific days? How long do I have to complete this course? 
  4. Does an online course cost more or less than a "real" class?
  5. I don't have a lot of computer experience, who can help me get started with my course? I don't have Internet access; can I still take the course? Are there resources for me to use on-campus? What are the recommended technology requirements?
  6. How will I know who my instructor is and how can I contact them before I enroll?
  7. How do I get started in my course? What do I do first?
  8. How do I get my books?  Does your bookstore ship them out to online students?

While taking the course:

  1. I can't see my course in Oncourse CL, what do I do? If I have technical difficulties with Oncourse CL, who do I contact?
  2. How do I turn in my assignments andtake my exams; where will I take my exams? How do you know that it's really me taking the class/exam and not someone else pretending to be me?
  3. How long do I have to wait for a response from my instructor? Who can help me if material that the instructor said he/she would post hasn't shown up yet? Who should I contact if I have a complaint about my instructor?
  4. If I'm working on my class at one a.m. and Oncourse CL fails or if I have technical questions, who do I call? What happens if my computer encounters technical problems in the middle of an exam?  Do I get to start over from the beginning?
  5. Do I have to give my email address out to the other class members?

After taking the course:

  1. Does an online class show up differently on my transcripts?
  2. Can I complete all the courses required for my degree online?

Before Taking the Course

1. What is a Distance Education course?

A distance education course from IU South Bend is offered online and runs within the timeframe of the semester. Most courses will be accessed through Oncourse CL, IU's course management system. Many of the assignments will be completed & submitted online, usually via Oncourse CL. It is possible that your instructor may require that exams be taken within a proctored environment, such as a testing center, library or approved means.

2. Do I have to be formally admitted prior to taking an online course and what are the admission requirements for IU South Bend? Do I need to take a placement exam before taking an online course? Do online courses count toward my credits for financial aid eligibility? How do I register or withdraw from a course?

You are allowed to take up to five courses without being formally admitted to IU South Bend. Admission information can be found at http://www.iusb.edu/~admissio/. If you are a degree-seeking student the credits for your online courses will count towards financial aid. If you are a non-degree seeking student, you aren't eligible for financial aid until you are formally admitted as an IU South Bend student. After applying to the university, you will receive an Admissions Certificate that lists what placement exams, if any, you are required to take.
The registration process is the same for online courses as on-campus courses. More information can be found at the IU South Bend Registration site --http://www.iusb.edu/%7eregr/. The process for dropping an online course is the same as for face-to-face/on-campus courses. Information can be found at http://www.iusb.edu/~regr/drop_add.shtml

3. Do I have to login/participate at specific times on specific days? How long do I have to complete this course? 

Most of the courses will be offered asynchronously so you won't have to be online at a specific day or time. Your instructor, however, may opt to have live (synchronous) chat sessions or "virtual office hours" via computer to allow students the opportunity to ask questions or share concerns or to clear up a concept that is confusing for all. Whether these will be "required" is up to each individual instructor. Unless otherwise directed by your instructor, it is recommended that you login to your course at least 2-3 times a week to check for updated announcements, messages or assignments.
Course pacing is determined by each individual instructor. Some may choose to have all material released to the students at the start of the semester, while others may want to have a schedule, perhaps based on weeks and rate of assignment completion. Most courses follow the 16-week semester schedule.

4. Does an online course cost more or less than a "real" class?

Currently courses delivered online cost the same as "real" courses that are offered on-campus.

5. I don't have a lot of computer experience. Who can help me get started with my course? I don't have Internet access; can I still take the course? Are there resources for me to use on-campus? What are the recommended technology requirements?

It is recommended that you have a minimal amount of computer experience prior to taking an Internet course. If you have doubts about your abilities, take the Student Readiness Assessment found at http://www.distance.iusb.edu/Student-survey.shtml?file=quiz.js It will allow you to check your skills against what is recommended for online courses and will provide suggestions for those areas where you feel challenged.
Although it is highly recommended that you have a computer or Internet access at home, labs with open access time are available on-campus and in the library. Public libraries also provide computer access but beware of time limits that may disrupt your work.
If you have questions about using Oncourse CL, a "Getting Started with Oncourse" guide and other basic information is available at https://oncourse.iu.edu/portal/site/!gateway/page/f03efc72-75f1-4fd0-00b8-4753de9f2c62

6. How will I know who my instructor is and how can I contact them before I enroll?

Prior to the start of the semester you may access your course schedule via OneStart and many of the instructor names are listed along with the course number and name. If your instructor is not listed, you may contact the course department. Departmental contact information can be found here: http://www.iusb.edu/~sbit/directories/dept-list.shtml. If you do not have Internet access call (877) 462-IUSB (4872) or (574) 520-IUSB (4872) and ask for the department name and extension number.

7. How do I get started in my course? What do I do first?

Two to three weeks prior to the start of the semester, you'll have access to your course via Oncourse CL (http://oncourse.iu.edu). Once you're logged-in to Oncourse CL, click on the number/name of your course in the tabs across the top of the screen. If you do not see it on the main tabs, click "-more-" to see a pull-down list of all courses for which you're enrolled or have previously been enrolled.
Once in the course area, read any announcements that may be posted and look for a syllabus/course calendar first. This will contain the information you'll need to start the course.
Print and keep the syllabus with your course materials. While it isn't imperative to print out everything in an online course, it is highly recommended that you print and keep the syllabus/course calendar.
After looking at the syllabus, click on the other links in the black bar on the left side of the screen. These are the areas your instructor will use for the course, and each has a specific purpose. Become familiar with each one.

8. How do I get my books?  Does your bookstore ship them out to online students?

You may choose to purchase your books in-person at the campus bookstore. The bookstore also has a website through which you may order your books: http://whywaitforbooks.com, select Indiana, and Indiana University South Bend. A customized textbook form will appear from which you can select your course and place an order for your books. You can have them shipped for $6.95 S&H per book, or if you are close to campus you may choose to have them boxed for pick-up.

While Taking the Course

1. I can't see my course in Oncourse CL, what do I do? If I have technical difficulties with Oncourse CL, who do I contact?

First, check in OneStart to confirm that you are still enrolled in the course within the registration system. If your course isn't listed, check with Student Affairs or your advisor to correct this situation. If you are shown as officially enrolled and you have your instructor's contact information, let him/her know about the problem. S/he will be able to look into the situation and request assistance if it is beyond what s/he is able to do.
 
For technical & Oncourse support, contact the IU South Bend HelpDesk at 574-520-5555 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8:30 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday. After hours you will be forwarded to a phone support center who will be able to assist you.

For general questions in using Oncourse, please check out the Training & Support link in the black bar on the left side of the Oncourse page. Clicking on the Help link when you are logged-in to Oncourse will also direct you to the training & support documents that can get you up to speed in using Oncourse.

If there is a problem you are having with a specific course or a link, document, etc... within an online course, please contact your instructor for assistance & to report the problem.

2. How do I turn in my assignments and take my exams; where will I take my exams? How do you know that it's really me taking the class/exam and not someone else pretending to be me?

Assignment submission methods are up to the individual instructor. There are a few options through Oncourse CL - assignments, dropbox, message, email. Each instructor will determine what is best for the course they are teaching. This information should be available in the syllabus and/or course calendar.
The instructor will notify you at the start of the course about examination procedures. They will either be completed and submitted online or proctored (monitored) and these can be done on-campus or at a testing center or library - at the discretion of the instructor.
As a way to curb cheating, instructors exert every effort to get to know their students at the beginning of a semester and throughout the semester. Students are encouraged to take responsibility and participate fully in their learning. Cheating, after all, is disadvantageous for the learner.

3. How long do I have to wait for a response from my instructor? Who can help me if material that the instructor said he/she would post hasn't shown up yet? Who should I contact if I have a complaint about my instructor?

Instructors should be allowed up to 48 business hours to respond to a message, however many of them will reply within 24 business hours. Instructors are normally not expected to reply to communications during weekends or holidays.
Email the instructor for clarification if he/she has not posted assignments, exams or other material as previously stated. There may be some reason and it is best to communicate with the instructor first.
Complaints about your instructor should be discussed first with him/her to come to a possible solution. If this step fails to work, a higher level authority will be involved. Provided that the involved authority still cannot reach the desirable agreement between the disputed parties, this case will be handled by a next higher level of authority.

4. If I'm working on my class at one a.m. and Oncourse CL fails or if I have technical questions, who do I call? What happens if my computer encounters technical problems in the middle of an exam?  Do I get to start over from the beginning?

Students may refer to the knowledgebase (http://kb.iu.edu/) with their Oncourse CL issues. For students close to campus there are labs where consultants are available for assistance. Questions that cannot be answered easily through these means may be sent to the helpdesk. Helpdesk information can be found here: http://www.iusb.edu/~sbit/ask-for-help.shtml.
If your question concerns course-related material, contact your instructor via his/her preferred method of communication. Check the syllabus for contact information.
Your instructor will have final decision about how to handle technical problems that occur in the middle of an exam. Contact him/her with a complete account of what happened, what you were doing when it happened, date & time the problem occurred. Your instructor may contact Oncourse support for verification if there was a problem with the system at that time. The final decision regarding an exam re-take is up to the instructor based upon the circumstances of the course and the exam.

5. Do I have to give my email address out to the other class members?

Communication with other classmates can be done through Oncourse. While you do not have to give out your personal email address to other class members, your IU South Bend email is the default in Oncourse.

After Taking the Course

1. Does an online class show up differently on my transcripts?

No, online courses look just like any other course from IU South Bend. No distinction is made between the delivery methods of the courses you take.

2. Can I complete all the courses required for my degree online?

At this point IU South Bend doesn't have a complete online degree program but check back often as we are growing and anticipate that programs will soon be available online.